Coloring Buttercream

Decorating By kpetcov Updated 8 Apr 2013 , 10:26pm by Lea17

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kpetcov Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:59am
post #1 of 9

I am getting fed up. On several occasions when I color my buttercream it looks like the color is separating from the icing and it looks "speckled". What could I be doing wrong and has this happened to anyone else? What can I do to prevent this from happening.


8 replies
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newlywedws Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 4:42am
post #2 of 9

I've never had the problem you're speaking of.

Number of different things that I can think of...(may or may not apply based on recipe that you use for your BC)

-shortening not incorporated thoroughly
-butter not incorporated thoroughly
-confectioner sugar not being sifted
-salt not incorporated thoroughly
-food colouring is old OR may have been contaminated by other foods
-shortening/confectioner sugar is a "store brand"
-mixing bowl was not thoroughly cleaned (if you use a dishwasher residue may have been left on the bowl).

Just trying to toss a few ideas out...again may not be the issue, but can't think what else it could be.

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DNBunny Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:32pm
post #3 of 9

kpetcov, it sounds like the food coloring could be old, like newlywedws said. Are you using food coloring that is runny like water? Remember that buttercream is mostly fat/oil and the liquid food coloring that you get in the grocery store by the spice aisle is mostly water. Oil and water don't mix very well. It's possible for the dye in food coloring to separate from the water and leave chunks of dye, giving the BC a speckled look. This can happen if the food coloring is allowed to dry out. Is it all of your colors, or just one?

I use Americolor which is thicker and has way less water in it. I've never had a speckle problem with it.

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kpetcov Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 9:04pm
post #4 of 9

It is all of my wilton colors and they are not old. It might be the shortening. It is a store brand. Maybe I will go back to buying a name brand and see if that helps.

Thanks for the suggestions

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jojo0676 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 9:06pm
post #5 of 9

I was having this problem also and I think it was because of the trans fat free crisco, apparently others were having similar problems.

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EricaT Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 9:13pm
post #6 of 9

IF you are using salt in your icing thats the problem! The grains dont completely break down and the color absorbs into them making them look darker. I really like salt in my icing so i still use it, so you can use finer ground salts, like popcorn salt

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mommyb Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:46am
post #7 of 9

AI have been having this problem as well. Why would store brand make a difference? Oh, and if it's store brand butter, could that affect it too?

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DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:02pm
post #8 of 9

AI had that problem with Wilton colors. Sometimes the gel gets thick and will appeared speckled in the frosting. Either switch to Americolor or thin the Wilton with a touch of warm water. It should be very smooth. Smooth out any chunks or pieces before adding to buttercream.

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Lea17 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 10:26pm
post #9 of 9

AHappens to me too with sugarflair gel colours, it looks like the colour is curdling if that makes sense! But I find it only starts being like that when I've put it in my piping bags :( I dread it when I have to colour buttercream!

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